“The beauty is unparalleled, the trails are dreamy, and the peaks are inspiring, but what never leaves you is the spirit of the people.”
That’s US ultra runner David Laney, who finished third in the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc in 2015, sharing his thoughts about what makes trail racing in the Alps so special. (You can read his story here.)
David climbing towards Flégère, 1,000 meters above Chamonix, with the Aiguilles of Chamonix in the distance. (Courtesy photo.)
This year, Run the Alps has expanded its race partnerships. Guided or self-guided guests can choose from nearly a dozen classic trail races across the Alps.
These are some of the most scenic and best-organized trail races anywhere in Europe, some of which date back nearly half a century. To explore taking part, just drop us a note!
Among our Run the Alps’ guides and ambassadors, we’ve run literally hundreds of races here in the Alps. Here are some of our favorites:
Trail Verbier St-Bernard– A well-organized series of races through the quiet and beautiful Swiss Valais region, “TVSB” is known for its friendly, welcoming spirit. Oh – and be forewarned: It’s not easy running across the hanging bridge at the bottom of the Glacier de Corbassière! (Photo courtesy of Trail Verbier St-Bernard.)
Eiger Ultra Trail– A series of five races under the north face of the Eiger, the locals are a tough crowd to impress. (Photo courtesy of Eiger Ultra Trail.)
Matterhorn Ultraks– A variety of distances, each race takes place in and around Zermatt, with some flowy single track under the Matterhorn. Above: Martin Anthamatten running for the 46km win in 2018. (Race courtesy photo.)
Mont Blanc Marathon– This competitive race brings runners from all around the world. Now part of Salomon’s Golden Trail series, the marathon finishes high above Chamonix. (Run the Alps photo.)
Trail Dents-du-Midi– Nearly 50 years old, this race is the oldest in the Alps, and has managed to maintain a friendly, local feeling. Above: Run the Alps’ guest Maya, Guide Vic Chelton, and Race Director Gil Caillet-Bois at the finish line in Champéry. (Run the Alps photo.)
Sierre-Zinal– One of the truly classic mountain races, Sierre-Zinal is considered the “New York Marathon of the Alps.” Over 5000 runners take part each year. Above: Kilian Jornet celebrates his 2015 Sierre-Zinal victory in style! (Photo courtesy of Salomon Running.)
Courmayeur Mont Blanc Skyrace– Part climbing, part trail running, the race starts in Courmayeur, Italy, and climbs over 2,200 meters in just 11 km. (Photo: Giacomo Buzio.)
Chamonix’s Vertical Kilometer– Cables, chains, and even a ladder! Chamonix’s vertical kilometer trail race features more than a few technical challenges in the final 200 vertical meters. (Race courtesy photo. Gaetan Haugeard, photographer.)
We’ll leave you with a favorite video – trail running up Chamonix’s airy vertical kilometer, part of the Mont Blanc Marathon race series. Last year’s women’s winner was our pal and Run the Alps Ambassador, Hillary Gerardi!